Two-year trial of Australian-made 3D printers for Navy patrol vessel maintenance announced

The federal government has announced $1.5 million in funding to support a two-year trial, using metal 3D printing for maintenance of Australian Navy patrol vessels.


Defence industry minister Melissa Price announced on Thursday that a partnership between printer manufacturer SPEE3D, Charles Darwin University and the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance would pilot “supersonic deposition” with an aim to “increase parts available to the Navy compared to what the regular supply chain can provide.”


SPEE3D is a Melbourne-based maker of cold spray-based additive manufacturing machines, and which collaborated with Charles Darwin University to form AMA in 2017. Its technology fuses metal powders using kinetic energy, rather than melting with lasers, and can create parts within minutes.


“This high-tech machinery enables metal components to be produced quickly and efficiently, meaning our ships can get back on the water without delay,” said Price, who made the announcement at CDU.


“Benefiting both the Navy and industry, the knowledge transfer gained using this capability also positions the Advanced Manufacturing Alliance to pursue further opportunities.


According to SPEE3D, the partnership includes deployment of one of its WarpSPEED printers.


The announcement continues an eventful week for SPEE3D, which is also exhibiting at the Formnext 3D printing expo in Frankfurt, Germany. It is demonstrating its new SPEE3DCell machines, which combine 3D printing with a heat treatment furnace and a CNC mill.




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